Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Typhoon Maria slams Japan, heads to Taiwan, China

Typhoon Maria pummeled Japan's southwestern islands Tuesday and is headed toward Taiwan, forecasters said.

Maria left Miyako Island, southwest of Okinawa, after pounding the area with 127 mph winds and 155 mph gusts, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said. Areas of Japan already flooded from previous rains were spared a direct hit from the typhoon, but the Ryukyu Islands were not.

Severe flooding in Japan was caused by Typhoon Prapiroon, which unleashed heavy rains last week.

Maria will skirt the northern part of Taiwan and move towards Fujian and Zhejiang through Wednesday. It is projected to make landfall over south-central China Wednesday with 90 mph winds.

Maria is expected to pass within 60 miles of Taiwan's capital, Taipei, early Wednesday if it remains on its present course, forecasters said.

Officials closed schools and offices in Taiwan Tuesday as Maria neared.

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